Byberry State Hospital, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series)

Byberry State Hospital, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series)

by Hannah Karena Jones


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Looming on the outskirts of Philadelphia County since 1906, the mental hospital most commonly known as “Byberry” stood abandoned for 16 years before being demolished in 2006. At its peak in the 1960s, Byberry was home to more than 6,000 patients and employer to more than 800. With its own self-sustaining farm, bowling alleys, barbershop, ice cream parlor, federal post office, and baseball team, Byberry was a micro-community. Throughout its history, the hospital served as an educational institution for Philadelphia’s medical, nursing, and psychology students; was the site of a World War II Civilian Public Service conscientious objector unit; and a volunteering hot spot for local churches, schools, and Girl and Boy Scout troops. This book provides an unprecedented window into the good, the bad, the unusual, and the forgotten history of Byberry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738599083
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 05/20/2013
Series: Images of America Series
Pages: 127
Sales rank: 390,999
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Hannah Karena Jones holds dual bachelor’s degrees in history and creative writing from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and has presented her historical research at national Phi Alpha Theta and Collegiate Honors Council conferences. The images in this collection come from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Philadelphia City Archives, Pennsylvania State Archives, the Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University Libraries, the Library Company of Philadelphia,, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the personal collections of former staff members, among others.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

1 Farm and Hospital 9

2 The Facilities 19

3 The Patients 35

4 Life and Conditions 45

5 The Staff 61

6 Therapy and Treatment 79

7 Activities 93

8 Hospital and Community 111

9 Closing and Abandonment 123

Bibliography 127

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Byberry State Hospital, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Charles_J_Tuzzo More than 1 year ago
Spectacular and Brilliantly Presented This is an awesome book for anyone interested in seeing various photographs and details about the history of the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry. The book has 9 chapters of photographs that start with the hospital itself, the facilities, the patients, the living conditions, patients were subjected too, during the time around when the 1946 Bedlam article was written for a November issue of Life Magazine. The book details fantastic photographs that show how horrific the living situation was for the patients at the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry. There was a time when some of the patients were not even allowed to go outside because they had no clothes to wear. Besides being naked with no clothes, the photographs in the book detail and show the overcrowding and lack of resources the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry had to work with. This was a time of economic depression for mental hospitals across the country including the one at the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry. I moved to Philadelphia in 2008. By that time the hospital had already been long closed and torn down. I learned about the hospital once I came to Philadelphia and found that it was one of the most significant mental hospitals in the eastern United States. The author has obtained marvelous photographs from various sources and describes the times throughout history of the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry. I strongly recommend this book for anyone that is interested in mental institutions, history of the State Hospital in Philadelphia, at Byberry or any history about the hospital in general. This is a wonderfully presented book. I review it as spectacular and I give it 5 stars.
Kirkbridian More than 1 year ago
This book is a great addition to any library. Byberry was a historical institution in Northeast Philadelphia for over a hundred years. This book has a lot of historical data and many historical photographs. Hannah Jones did a great job with this book. The series Images of America is the greatest things to happen to local history.